It's time for a new smart phone

For me, it’s the possibility of being able to do things like root my phone, reskin it, throw on other launchers to change behaviors or where things are located, etc. Even if I don’t do those things now, I have the potential to do so later. (I prolonged one phone’s life by a good year or so a while back by rooting it and throwing CyanogenMod on it)

iDevices are just so locked into the Apple Look and Feel™ that it bugs me to no end. It’s also why I tend to avoid carrier-locked phones and go for Nexus/Pixel devices, since they have none of that extra crapware on them and are just vanilla Android, ripe for customizing.

2 Likes

Johtoguy, I will double-check, but I think I already changed the preserve settings setting. During this last round of photos I took, I’d close the camera app and lock the phone to save the battery in between stops for pictuers. The first thing I had to do each time I opened the app back up was tap on the icon at the top to make “LIVE OFF” appear, so it kept going back into Live Photo mode when it shut down.

So since I’m on a griping roll about iOS, here’s some more:

  • It is nearly impossible to adjust the URL of a website without using an external Bluetooth keyboard. I just cannot get the cursor positioned where I need to with my finger. It likes to activate the select mode or won’t fine-adjust the cursor one character at a time, necessitating having to delete and re-type to get the cursor to the correct spot. If the URL is longer than the field can fit on screen, it won’t scroll over to it. I sometimes have to change the URL to activate certain features for some wikis I manage.
  • Scrolling up/down or left/right can only be done when the web page is perfectly still. For example, if you swipe up or down, you have to wait until the scrolling comes to a complete stop before you can move the page left/right. Scrolling a web page on my Android phone seems to be omnidirectional. This becomes important when you have to zoom in in order to read something on the page. I lost track of the number of times I had to re-zoom in/out because because the web browser kept snapping the zoom back to where it was before I tried adjusting it.
  • Copy and paste does not seem to always work between apps. Reminds me of how Excel works. If you’ve got a cell tagged for copying and you switch to a different program to do something else, Excel un-selects that cell and erases what’s in the clip board.
  • I found a program that will let me copy some things to/from the iPhone without using iTunes, but so far it only handles pictures, videos and music. I wound up having to email a PDF file and an HTML file to my iPhone to get it over there.
  • I couldn’t save the files out of the email where I wanted them (no “create new folder” option), so I was stuck dumping them into “Pages”. Then Pages insisted on being the app that opens them, instead of using a web browser or a PDF reader like Acrobat Reader.
  • Apparently, Voice Memos will use your physical location as the file name in some cases. Can’t rename them, as far as I can tell.

I’ll say this for my Android phone: When I plug it into a Windows computer, the only extra thing I’ve ever had to do is change the USB connection to the “file transfer” mode. After that, the entire file structure is visible. I can copy/move/delete/rename files as I want to, which means I can do my own backup of my files that doesn’t require a subscription to a cloud service. I can get files to open with the app I want them to, not what the OS manufacturer forces me to use. And the next trip I go on, I’m taking an old Samsung tablet along with me and just using the iPhone as a hotspot.

Steve Jobs used to say, “It just works.” Maybe that’s true if you let Apple decide what you do with your smartphone. But if you want more control over how your data gets to and from the phone, along with what programs you view that data with, for me, “Android just works.”

2 Likes

This. Android just works the way I want it to. Several times, I’ve told someone “Do X on your phone” and they replied with “My iPhone won’t do that.”
[StrongBad voice] Aww. Too bad for you.

3 Likes

The setting for live photo has to be toggled green, then you go into you camera and turn off live it should then stay off. As for the other issues, the url stuff is frustrating, and as far as i have seen there is no way around it. Scrolling, ive never had the need to do the directional stuff but ill try to keep it in mind when browsing to see if i can come up with a solution for you.
Copy/Paste also something I haven’t played with much aside from copying a url then texting or emailing it through the built in mail app. What apps are you trying to copy between?
PDFcan be sent to a PDF reader of your choice by selecting it and then clicking the share to icon and sharing to the desired reader. They can then be saved there.
Voice memos I belive if you go into the location sharing control menu you can go in and shut down location access for voice memos, then it will save as date and time ( have never used the app but @johtomom uses it regularly).
@SteveJobs is dead sadly, but if saw what was happening to apple, heads would roll, and some people would have new holes.
I love my Iphone and it the only i device i own. I think itunes is trash and over-bloated. But, Ive never had a problem with my iphones, Ive had a 5c, 6s , and now the XS Max. Every android Ive ever used makes me want to spike said droid but that is likely do to the skins that are on the OS is awful.
I do know that as the one idevice user on the it team, i have both a leg up when trouble shooting apple, and a leg down when trouble shooting the droids, and that is due to my lack of training, but i am fixing that.

True, the skins are not a value-add to me. I went from a Samsung with TouchWiz, which takes a wiz on performance, to a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition with a clean, unskinned OS. It was great.

For copy/paste, it was copy from Firefox and paste into Chrome. I needed to be logged in under two different accounts at the same time for some maintenance (dealing with a vandal, trying to workin background mode), so had to use separate browsers.

The Live Photo issue might have been due to a wrong setting on my part. It looks like it’s correct now, based on what you listed. Same goes with Voice Memos. But I see previous memos I recorded without the location file name, so I think the most recent iOS update switched it on without me knowing it.

Regarding PDF files, by sharing, do you mean “share with other programs on my phone” in the same sense of a right-click in Windows brings up the context menu and you select “Open with”? My first thought is “share with social media” instead of “give other apps on my phone permission to access this file”.

Its the button that you looks like a small box with an arrow in it, that will allow you to share to an app. it is the same as the share with media button. its dumb and i had to show the CTO at my work how to use it. I will never say that apple does not have a convoluted way of doing simple things, it seems at some point they forgot KISS.

The iOS “share” button should more accurately be named something generic like “action” nowadays. The basic idea is that it’s the standard way to do things with content be that sharing on media or other uses. I think the reason it seems weird is we’re used to the filesystem being very open, which is not really true in iOS for security reasons.

Crisis averted! After a round of app updates last week, something went rogue and was hammering the processor and thus eating the battery. Part of the screen was hot, like uncomfortable to touch - I’m pretty sure it was right over the processor. Anyway, I manually backed up everything Friday night, nuked it and reloaded some, but not all, of my apps Saturday morning. It seems to be working much better now. It is a hassle to go through, though.

Serious answer: I’ve never felt constrained by the amount of space on my smartphone. I usually pick the smallest possible model to save money and it’s never been a problem.

I’m not really a typical user, though—I don’t take pix on my phone except very rarely. My installed non-default apps consist in totality of the Duo authentication app, Desert Golfing, the Hue app, 1Password, and Slack. I keep ~20-ish audiobooks at a time synced locally on the phone.

Not sure what else to say. Space just is not a problem. And, being painfully honest, even if it were, I’d work around the issue and alter my behavior rather than dealing with the horrorshow that is Android. Last Friday’s Penny Arcade pretty much sums up my feelings on Android: “These days it’s just like having an iPhone, except nobody at Google cares how anything looks or works.”

But, lest I go too far down the evil road of platform evangelism, let us all take a deep breath and remember the One True Mantra:

All hardware sucks. All software sucks.

1 Like

So true. We need to remember that.

Commitstrip (old one) on mobile phones :

1 Like

I want to share an iOS tip that a coworker passed on to me a few months ago that has totally changed my life. Instead of having to tap-and-hold on a text entry field in order to reposition the cursor—which I absolutely agree is often an exercise in screaming frustration!—you can tap once in the text field to give it focus, and then tap and hold the on-screen keyboard’s spacebar. After the hold registers, your finger position on the spacebar will control the cursor and you can move the cursor up, down, left, and right by moving your finger on the spacebar.

I know it’s often hyperbole to say that a tip changed your life, but this one really did. For the first time in years, precise mobile text entry is no longer a bloody nightmare.

5 Likes

Whoa. That is one of the coolest hidden features i have ever seen on an iphone.

1 Like

So going to share the heck out of that! Thanks!

Yo all you big $manufacturers, instead of a folding phone, try adding a physical keyboard to it, so you can use it like a mini laptop… (Like the HTC TyTN2 back in the day)

TBH, also wanted a TyTN2, but dropped it after poor performance and reviews.

1 Like

The new Samsung Galaxy Fold is $1,980. I think someone said, “People are gobbling up the $1,000 iPhone X. Let’s double the price on our new shiny!” I think I’d rather be able to pay my mortgage, thank you very much.

2 Likes

Agreed.

What’s the point of having one of them new bendy phones, you’re not able to make payment on your debt plus the new bendy keeps on breaking?

Naaah, I’ll rather have a new late-model phone that works and be able to live comfortable than having a new thing and living deeper into debt.

Haven’t they pushed the release date for the Fold back to an unspecified date, which may be “Never?”

I think it was a neat idea, but a little gimmicky.

Over a year later, I figured out why this is happening. It’s the Touch ID system where you put you finger over the button. Convenient for unlocking your phone with your fingerprint, right?

I bought an Otter Box case so there would be raised surfaces to protect the screen in case it falls face first. This was in response to having a work phone with a curved screen so there is no way to protect it in that situation. Your only real option is to buy screen protectors in bulk.

With this case there’s not enough clearance around the iPhone’s button to press your thumb fully against it. What the phone was really doing was complaining about not reading my thumb print. It displays “Touch ID not recognized” at the top of the phone, but I’m looking down at the button to make sure I’m pressing it right. Maybe if that message was towards the bottom instead of being in what’s effectively my peripheral vision area, I would have noticed it before.

That’s off now. I still have to press the button twice to get to the point where I can unlock the phone: once to wake it up and again to bring up the keypad. At least it no longer feels like I’m being told I did something wrong.